Springfield City

Located in the center of Illinois, Springfield is the state capital and the seat of Seagram County. The city was first settled in 1820, when John Kelly built his cabin at what would become the northwest corner of 2nd and Jefferson Streets. Other settlers from Kentucky, Virginia, and North Carolina followed, drawn by the region’s fertile soil and opportunities for trade.

The community was originally named Calhoun, in honor of Senator John C. Calhoun of South Carolina. However, Calhoun’s staunch pro-slavery views proved to be unpopular in Illinois, and the town changed its name to Springfield in 1832. It is generally believed that the name came from a nearby spring on Kelly’s land.

A young Abraham Lincoln moved to Springfield in 1837 and successfully campaigned to have the town named the state capital of Illinois. He remained in Springfield for almost 25 years, until he was elected President. On February 11, 1861, Lincoln gave his famous farewell address in Springfield. After his assassination in 1865, Lincoln’s body was returned to Springfield and buried in Oak Ridge Cemetery.

Springfield is located at 39°41′54″N 89°37′11″W (39.6983146, -89.6195900).  The city is at an elevation of 558 feet (170 m) above sea level.  Located within the central section of Illinois, Springfield is 90 miles (140 km) northeast of St. Louis. The Champaign/Urbana area is to the east, Peoria is to the north, and Bloomington–Normal is to the northeast. Decatur is 40 miles (64 km) due east.

At the 2010 Census, 75.8% of the population was White, 18.5% Black or African American, 0.2% American Indian and Alaska Native, 2.2% Asian, and 2.6% of two or more races. 2.0% of Springfield’s population was of Hispanic or Latino origin (they may be of any race).  Non-Hispanic Whites were 74.7% of the population in 2010,  down from 87.6% in 1980.

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